Climbing “Spiritual Trees”


“And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.” – Luke 19:3-4

I can empathize with the rich tax collector, Zacchaeus, who climbed a tree to see Jesus. The last time I recall climbing a tree was in the early 1970s, and poverty was the driving factor.

The community of Kangundo in Kenya, where I grew up, had started conducting an annual agricultural fair. The fairground was fenced, and there was one main entrance where people bought their tickets before entering the grounds. Inside, they saw agricultural produce and displays of projects developed by the government. Traditional dancers, a military band, and national soccer teams entertained the patrons.

My friends and I badly wanted to see that military band, but we could not afford the entrance fee. So, we went to the grounds and climbed in trees that were taller than the fence, and from there we watched them play. We had a specific goal, and we were willing to do what was necessary to achieve it.

Zacchaeus must have wanted to see for himself what others had been talking about. He came up with only one limitation—his height—and he devised a strategy to overcome that. He would climb a tree. Then he took a step of faith and acted on his decision. To do this, he humbled himself to a point that it did not matter what others would say of his action.

Jesus knew where Zacchaeus was and why he was there. When He arrived in the place where the Sycamore tree stood, He looked up and told Zacchaeus to climb down quickly. Jesus was going to his house! I cannot imagine Zacchaeus’ thoughts as he was climbing down, but I believe he was satisfied beyond measure with the result of his actions.

Do you need divine healing, restoration of harmony in your family, or God’s direction in a decision to be made? Do what Zacchaeus did—seek out Jesus. There may be obstacles, and you may have to humble yourself and climb a spiritual tree. But with a definite purpose, we can derive spiritual benefits just as Zacchaeus did. Forgiveness, salvation, love, peace, and hope of eternal life, are waiting.